Samsung dominates China smartphone market in 2012

South Korean giant jumps to the top of China's smartphone vendor ranking after sales last year almost tripled to 30.06 million, garnering the company 17.7 percent of overall market share.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

South Korean electronics giant Samsung took top spot in China's smartphone market in 2012, after sales of its devices nearly tripled from 10.9 million in 2011 to 30.06 million last year.

Citing figures from Strategy Analytics, Yonhap News Agency said Sunday Samsung held 17.7 percent market share in 2012, which was a jump of 5.3 percent from the year before. This also marked the first time it topped the Chinese smartphone market since entering the market in 2009, thanks to global brand recognition and increased cooperation with Chinese carriers, the report added.

Strong sales means Samsung dominates China's smartphone market for the first time.

Samsung's rise in China was at the expense of rival phonemaker Nokia. The Finnish phonemaker, which was No. 1 in 2011 with 29.9 percent market share, plunged to 3.7 percent last year to take seventh place, according to the research.

The No. 2 smartphone brand in China for 2012 was PC maker Lenovo, with 13.2 percent market share, which represented a 4 percent growth from the year before. Apple was third with 11 percent, followed by Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer Huawei with 9.9 percent, the report said.

Samsung's continued dominance of the China market is not certain, though. Earlier this month, the Chinese government publicly expressed its concern over the dominance of the Android operating system, saying it is strictly controlled by Google despite being open source. The majority of Samsung's most popular smartphones are powered by Android.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in a whitepaper then that domestic handset makers were "heavily dependent" on Android, which means risking paying royalties for patent licensing or litigation.

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